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Warfare with Odours

Do flowers smell to repel or to appeal?

Plants don’t like to be eaten and all of us know that therefore they use a number of tricks to minimise losses inflicted on them by herbivores and kin. Spikes, spines, needles, spicules, thorns and barbs as well as toxic substances in leaves, stems, and fruits are some of the better-known measures with which plants increase their unpalatability and thus their survival. However, not only do plants like not to be eaten, but they also have to make sure that their valuable pollen is not stolen by pollen eaters. —>—>

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Garb and Decoration in Animals

We are not alone to wear make-up and decorate ourselves

Narcissus fell in love with his mirror image and, so the myth tells us, was transformed into a flower. We humans (note the non-sexist general term “humans”) spend an inordinate amount of time looking into mirrors, donning attractive outfits, covering pimples with make-up, wearing perfumes, and doing all sorts of things to enhance our appearance. Where did this vanity come from? Are there animals decorating themselves and wearing make-up? —>—>

zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog smell taste dogs odours Florian Nock

Smell : Potential Burglars Beware of dogs !

Dogs are after you !

Although most humans have a relatively big nose right in the centre of their face, that organ’s main function seem to be there to support the spectacles and to pre-warm the air that enters the nostrils. Our sense of smell isn’t exactly great when it comes to a showdown with other nose-possessing organisms, but when I use the plural “we”, I am not exactly accurate, for female noses consistently outperform those of males and there are even odours that men and children cannot but mature women can smell. There is also the aspect that in women odour thresholds vary over the menstrual cycle. Generally speaking, however, we humans aren’t smell champions and find it hard to understand how a police dog can follow the track of a wrongdoer or a lost person, how salmons sniff out their home rivers on their migrations to their birth stream, how ants smell odour trails laid down by worker ants and how male moths can possibly detect the scent of a female 10 km away.
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